Year in Review

[ “Year in Review”  is where you should reflect on the past year and show how you have evolved as a person and as a student.  You may want to focus on your growth in a particular area (as a leader, scholar, researcher, etc.) or you may want to talk about your overall experience over the past year.  For more information, go to: Delete these instructions and add your own post.]


Coming to college, the biggest challenge that I faced this semester was adjusting to the completely new and different lifestyle that college entailed. At the beginning, it was very difficult to balance the various aspects of college since it was really important to get involved and get to know other people, but there was also pressure to perform well in classes. Academically, it was challenging to adjust because the classes were set up differently than in high school and of course, college courses are more challenging to begin with. On top of that, we were left on our own to figure out the way that Carmen worked and it felt like each class was set up differently and there was no way to find all the information in one spot. With life being different in nearly every aspect, adjusting to such big change was difficult. In order to deal with this challenge, I worked on prioritizing and organizing. I bought an agenda and organized all my assignments in each of my classes by listing their due dates. I prioritized by setting aside the time that I needed in order to finish my work and ensuring that I was able to finish my work before doing anything else. As a result, the other aspects were worked out because with the remaining time, I was able to dedicate to spending time with the new friends I’ve made.

In survey class, attending seven total lectures were required. Through lecture attendance, I explored many of the majors in the College of Arts and Sciences, majors in FAES, and ones in Education and Human Ecology. I chose to explore these majors and colleges because I knew that I wanted to do something related to science. I had known this fact for quite a while, but the problem had always been choosing a specific field in the vast area of science. Therefore, I attended the lectures for the College of Arts and Sciences when they talked about majors such as Chemistry, Biology, and Neuroscience because I was considering these majors. I was also considering a major in Environmental Science since the class I took in high school interested me and therefore, I attended the lecture for FAES. I attended the lecture for Education and Human Ecology because I thought that Nutrition Sciences could be an interesting option. Attending these lectures allowed me to consider if I genuinely wanted to pursue these majors.

Over the course of the semester, my thoughts about majors have changed. When applying to OSU, I originally put Chemistry as my major. However, I switched to undecided in order to explore my options further. After attending the lectures, I am considering different majors than I was at the start of the semester. I feel that I am not interested in Environmental Science as a major anymore because I was able to find out more about the coursework and experiences that a student majoring in Environmental Science would have and I feel that it is not the right major for me. I also am not considering Chemistry as much as a major anymore because I realized that I am more interested in the way that the human body works as opposed to science at the molecular level. I have been looking into Neuroscience as a major because it appears to consider a higher level of biology than the molecular level.

The majors that I have considered fit with my strengths, interests, and goals because I have always been interested in the field of science. I have also known that my strengths are more focused in the STEM area and that knowledge has been reinforced since I have been at OSU because I enjoy and excel in my science and math courses much more so than my other classes. The majors that I am considering also fit with my goals because I am considering a Pre-Med track which requires a passion for the sciences. At this time, I think Neuroscience as a major fits best because the subject appeals to me and it fits with my interests and goals. Neuroscience is heavily based in science, but it is still a broad major that allows me to learn about areas that a typical Pre-Med track student may not explore. This aspect appeals to me because I know my interests are in the science fields, but I want to become a well-rounded student.

Attending lecture was beneficial in that I was able to learn more about various majors that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. OSU offers many majors and learning about all of them on my own would have been difficult. Therefore, it was beneficial to have an overview of all the majors that are offered at OSU. I was glad that we were allowed to choose out of the many lectures provided because I knew that there were certain areas that didn’t interest me. The ability to choose only the ones that were interesting was more beneficial because if all of them were required, I would not be interested in going to any of them and therefore, would not be as eager to learn about the various majors. Allowing the students to choose the lectures that they want to attend seems very beneficial to me because it provides more motivation.

Although an overview of the majors offered was beneficial, I feel that some of the majors were focused on much more so than others. We were provided the opportunity to ask about different majors, but it still felt like some of the majors were emphasized a lot whereas others were barely mentioned. I understand that with all the majors offered, it is difficult to talk about all of them in depth, but I wish there was a way that some of the less known majors were discussed more. For example, I attended one of the lectures for the College of Arts and Sciences, which is a college with a tremendous number of majors. At the lecture, I felt that there was a theme of the majors that were talked about since many of the majors that I already knew about were discussed. There were some majors that were on the list provided that I had never heard about, but those majors were rarely discussed. I was particularly interested in Neuroscience, but majors such as Chemistry and Biology were discussed more. I feel that it would be more beneficial if the majors that were not as well known were discussed a little more in depth.

One goal that I have for next semester is to find a research opportunity. I hope to be able to do research in a lab in a field that I am interested in and this will help me with choosing a major because I will be more knowledgeable about my interests and strengths. I also want to find a research opportunity because it is something that I am passionate about and hope to participate in. I hope to find an area of research that I have a lot of interest in and truly enjoy participating in. Being able to participate in this kind of research will be a tremendous stepping stone in exploring and choosing a major because I will further develop my interests and be more aware of the career path that I want to take. In order to find research opportunities, I will go to the Office of Undergraduate Research and seek their help in finding research. I have already done research online about the many research opportunities available at OSU. I intend to email researchers who participate in research that I find interesting. I will talk to my professors to see if the areas of their research are interesting to me.

If I were to go back and talk to myself at the start of the semester, I would advise myself to not be overwhelmed by all the changes that are occurring and that it is important to take a step back and look at the grand scheme of things rather than focusing on and stressing about every little thing. I have come to realize that I am typically the type of person who is high-strung and is easily stressed. Therefore, I would want to reassure myself and advise myself of the importance of viewing the whole picture and not just focusing on a small part. One small failure results in lessons learned and does not affect the overall successfulness of the task at hand. I would want to tell myself that with time, I will be able to adjust to all the changes that are occurring. In general, I would just like to reassure myself because myself at the beginning of the semester was very doubtful and lost. I would also want to explain the way that Carmen works because that was a very large factor in causing stress.


[ “G.O.A.L.S.” is a place where students write about how their planned, current, and future activities may fit into the Honors & Scholars G.O.A.L.S.: Global Awareness, Original Inquiry, Academic Enrichment, Leadership Development, and Service Engagement. For more information, go to: Delete these instructions and add your own post.

Global Awareness: Students cultivate and develop their appreciation for diversity and each individual’s unique differences. For example, consider course work, study abroad, involvement in cultural organizations or activities, etc .
Original Inquiry: Honors & Scholars students understand the research process by engaging in experiences ranging from in-class scholarly endeavors to creative inquiry projects to independent experiences with top researchers across campus and in the global community. For example, consider research, creative productions or performances, advanced course work, etc.
Academic Enrichment: Honors & Scholars students pursue academic excellence through rigorous curricular experiences beyond the university norm both in and out of the classroom.
Leadership Development: Honors & Scholars students develop leadership skills that can be demonstrated in the classroom, in the community, in their co-curricular activities, and in their future roles in society.
Service Engagement: Honors & Scholars students commit to service to the community.]


[“Career” is where you can collect information about your experiences and skills that will apply to your future career.  Like your resume, this is information that will evolve over time and should be continually updated.   For more information, go to: Delete these instructions and add your own post.]


  1. What are some of the day-to-day responsibilities in your career, what is your schedule for the day when you go to work?
  2. What major did you choose in college and how do you feel about choosing this major for your career?
  3. What kinds of extracurricular experiences (research, internships, co-ops, student organizations, study abroad, etc) did you have in college? How did those experiences benefit you professionally? What do you suggest to get started on early and things to make sure to do in order to be able to become a professional in this career?
  4. Describe the process by which you arrived at your undergraduate major.
  5. Describe the process by which you arrived at your position in your career. Is special certification, licensing, or an advanced degree required for your job? If so, what?

The person I interviewed was Dr. Neha Patel who works as a pediatrician. She works part time and sees patients from 9 am to 5 pm, three days a week and aside from that, she must follow up on lab work, imaging, and other studies that she has ordered. In pediatrics, she has a lot of forms such as back to school forms for medications and sports. In addition, there are many phone calls throughout the day from families who have questions. Those other things are done in between seeing patients throughout the day.

In college, Dr. Patel was a psychology major with an emphasis on biosciences. Her major was tailored more towards medical science and not just mental health. She liked the balance because she had all the prerequisites for pre med, but it was nice to have areas of focus that were different, but they were still related to medicine.

In college, Dr. Patel did research over the summers in an animal laboratory. The research was with mice and it was through the nutrition department. She did other things such as tutoring for an adult literacy program that she really enjoyed. This allowed her to take something else that she learned and apply it to help people in a different way. She also did an internship at a psychiatric hospital by shadowing someone allowing her to have patient contact and more of an idea if she wanted to do certain things in the future. She believes that experience is helpful in getting into medical school, but not everything must be medically related. There is not necessarily a set number of hours that is required for medical school. It is good to dabble in other interests so that it is shown that there is more to someone than just medical school. This will also be helpful to decide if this is something that they will want to do and if it is medicine, which path to take.

Dr. Patel chose psychology as her major since she has always thought interpersonal relations and the way people think was interesting. She wanted to focus on other things other than the hard core sciences. Her university required non traditional elements in education and many of her favorite courses were non hard core sciences such as anthropology. This allowed her to have a different perspective on things and use her brain in different ways. She believes that choosing a major all depends on a person’s interests and what they will excel in.

Regarding certification, after getting into medical school, one must take the United States Medical Exam that has two parts. One part is taken halfway through medical school for basic sciences and facts and the second part is taken at the end of medical school to be able to practice and get into residency. At the end of residency, any specialty that is chosen will have a Board Exam. Now, there is a new process where every ten years, one must recertify in order to continue practicing. Throughout the time that one is  practicing, he/she must do CME which is continuing medical education by attending conferences, doing readings, and answering questions.

I chose to interview Dr. Patel because I am currently considering a Pre Med track and therefore, I wanted to talk to someone who went through the experience and would be able to give their account of the process in which they went through in order to arrive at the position that they are in now. I also know that I really enjoy interacting with children and therefore, I was considering pediatrics for the future and since Dr. Patel is a pediatrician, I thought it was a really good idea to get her view of her career.

Although I did not ask many questions relating to if Dr. Patel enjoys her career as much as I did about the experiences and process of arriving to her position in her career, I feel that I now know more about what should be done in order to achieve the goal of becoming a doctor. After interviewing her, I felt more aware of the various components of the process which was reassuring. Regarding career exploration, I feel that I want to continue on the Pre Med track and become a doctor. From the daily schedule that Dr. Patel provided of her day, I feel that that schedule sounds appealing. I love working with children so seeing patients would be fulfilling. I also understand that the other parts are necessary in the job description and I find that those responsibilities are understandable. Regarding major exploration, I feel that I agree with what she has to say with the fact that it depends on individual interests and the areas that an individual is going to excel in. She chose psychology as her major since it allowed her to explore other things other than just chemistry and biology. In order to determine my major, I will have to discover my interests.

The interview with Dr. Patel helped to reinforce many of the ideas that I already had some information about such as the fact that it is important to choose a major based on what an individual is interested in. It is also important to participate in activities that are of interest so that one can decide what they want to do with their future and also because it shows medical schools that an individual is more well-rounded. I did learn from the interview about the details of a day for a pediatrician. There are many other responsibilities that a pediatrician has other than just seeing patients. I also learned about the process for certification for becoming a doctor. This involves the USME, board exams, recertification every ten years, and also CME throughout the process of practicing. This information is particularly useful because it allows me to really know what I am signing up for when I choose this path.

In order to make a confident decision, I feel that I still need to expose myself to the activities of a pediatrician or a doctor more. I want to be confident that if I choose this path that involves hard work and sacrifices, that I will be happy with the result and genuinely love what I am doing. I can get more exposure by shadowing a pediatrician in order to gauge if I am genuinely interested in becoming a pediatrician or any type of doctor. I can also do research in order to become more educated regarding the lifestyle of a doctor.

The major exploration tools that were most helpful to me was actually just talking to my advisor and discussing my interests and how that can be reflected in various majors. I also attended the various Monday lectures that gave me an idea of the various majors that were out there and that I could explore. The Monday lectures had people from specific majors and we were allowed to ask questions and get the perspective of someone who went through the process of getting a degree in their major.

About Me

I am Aretha On, an honors student at The Ohio State University. Although I am uncertain of the exact major that I want to pursue, I intend to study science and potentially attend medical school. I am motivated, organized, and I enjoy working with others. I am passionate about science, art, and also giving back to the community. I hope to discover a career that will include my passions and look forward to embarking on the journey that will allow for this discovery.